tv HUD Secretary Nominee Ben Carson Testifies at Confirmation Hearing CSPAN January 12, 2017 10:44am-12:30pm EST
the changing nature of the millennial workforce, born digitally native. finally, as you know, chairman burr and i have committed to conduct a review of the intelligence supporting the intelligence assessment that russia, at the direction -- >> and that was the start of the cia director confirmation with congressman mike pompeo. the power went out in the room. they tweeted that the room went dark as the discussion was on russian hacking. the room did go dark, in fact the building and the dirksen senate office building which were attached where the hearing was taking place both lost power. the hearing came to a stop. we understand the hearing is going to move to another location. when power is restored, when things are back to settle, we
hope to return to live coverage on c-span2. in the meantime we will go live to the confirmation hearing for president-elect trump's nominee to head the department of housing and development, but dr. ben carson. that started after ten am a.m. this morning. we join it in progress. >> i appreciate many of the ideas and goals you expressed, some however, as you know by now, are inconsistent with statements you made over the past few years. if confirmed, i think you understand you will be held to the ideas you have expressed today, not once necessarily you may have written or talked about in a presidential race. you testified that you want to make communities more inclusive. this seems at odds with one of the only housing policies that prior to this nomination, that you have taken a public stand on fair housing. as i mentioned, your 2015 column in the washington times critiqued hud's new rule to affirmatively further fair housing.
you characterize that rural as a governor engineered attempt for equality and you likened it to a socialist experience. please elaborate for this committee on your view of hud's role implementing the fair housing act, especially including the requirement that hud's grantees affirmatively further fair housing. >> thank you senator brown for that question. and the opportunity to actually explain that because it has been distorted by many people. as you probably know, that act says we want people who are receiving hud grants to look around and see if they find anything that looks like discrimination. then we want them to come up with a solution on how to solve the problem. they are not responding to people saying there is a
problem, we are saying go and look for a problem problem and then give us a solution. but i believe to be the case, is we have people sitting around desks in washington d.c. deciding on how things should be done, telling mayors and commissioners and people, you need to build this place right here and you need to put these kinds of people in it. what i would encourage, i don't have any problem whatsoever with affirmative action or integration. i have no problem with that at all, but i do have a problem with people on high dictating it when they don't know anything about what's going on in the area. we have local hud officials, and we have people who can assess what the problems are in their
area, and working with local officials, can come up with much better solutions than a one size fits all cookie-cutter program for people in washington d.c. that is the part. >> i'm so sorry, your objection is not -- is whether it's done from washington or the hud office in ohio. >> my issue is central dictation of people's lives. >> let me explore it further. along the same lines i want to hear your views on the housing rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and queer people. these people also face discrimination, as you know, at homeless and youth homelessness. you expressed the desire to improve the housing for all people but yet in the past
you've questioned whether lgbt you people should enjoy the same rights of everyone else. do you think they should have equal housing opportunities for lgbt queue people. >> if confirmed in this position, of course i would enforce all the laws of the land and i believe that all americans, regardless of any of the things you mentioned should be protected by the law. what i have mentioned in the past is the fact that no one gets extra rights. extra rights means you get to redefine everything for everybody else. that to me doesn't seem to be very democratic. >> that's what were talking about. i'm glad to hear moving forward you will respect that. >> last question as time runs shorts. we've seen a dramatic increase in affordable housing needs as you pointed out in recent years, 11 trillion families, as i said earlier, quarter of all renters pay half their income from
housing, struggling to make and meets. if one thing goes wrong, hours cut, illness, they lose their home. we talked about the matthew desmond book and evicted which i hope you will read and i hope your staff has read. people's lives are being turned upside down when they are evicted. their children's school district changes, they lose their possession, and never catch up again, their credit, all of those things happen when half of their income was going to housing. i'm surprised that president-elect agenda has not even mentioned housing. you had told me about your conversation with the president elect about an urban agenda. have you had discussions with him about your plans for housing or his plans for housing? tell us what those plans have come from those discussions. >> yes, in fact we spoke this morning. you have to attack the problem
that you described from both ends. there are large number of people spending 30 - 50% of their income on housing and that's unacceptable number. what we have to do is either raised their income or decrease the cost of the housing. i think both of those areas are areas that we need to work upon. >> do you support raising the minimum wage and you support the overtime rule which in my state alone or your home state of michigan with more than 100,000 in each state they got raises that are making 30 and 40000 a year. if were talking about raising income would mean real dollars in people's pockets that are working 50 and 60 hours a week. you support those. >> i support creating an environment that encourages entrepreneurial risk taking on capital investment which are the engines that drove america from
those places in record time. >> so i guess that means you don't support the overtime rule or the minimum wage. >> it means exactly that my philosophy is that we can increase people's minimum wages by increasing opportunities for them and in creating environments for those opportunities exist rather than artificially trying to change it >> i don't think it's artificial that someone that works 50 or 60 hours a week and has been classified as management can work those hours over 40, making 35,000 year end not get paid for those hours. i don't think that's artificial, when the employer has denied them that street time or time and a half. >> i agree it's not artificial, but you create the right environment and that employer will have to pay them more because the competition will require it of them. >> senator shelby. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> doctor carson, i want to
first, again thank you for accepting this nomination. >> thank you. >> i want us to do everything we can to expedite this nomination. i'm going to do a little of it this morning by not using all my five minutes we appreciate you, and we appreciate what you are and what you stand for and what you've done, and what you could do in the housing area. i think you are very wise to listen and learn things because all the wisdom is not here at hud, but there is some there and you reference that earlier. there is experience there, but the housing goes to the very essence of family and opportunities and the neighborhood and a town or city and a nation, as you know. there are a lot of broken things. i don't know all of them. i've been on this committee for
the 31st year end i've seen a lot of hud secretaries, go. you can make a difference and i believe you are taking a job to make a difference. >> in the interest of time, of course are not there yet, i know, i have six questions. i'm not going to read them all to you, but i would like to get them answered, not before you are confirmed, but after you settle down. >> absolutely. >> one question deals with fha mortgage. another deals with the asset stabilization. one deals with downpayments, fha. the other one is hud spending, considering the national debt, the other is hud doj enforcement even, risk sharing, there's a difference between the va loan program works in fha which comes under you and so forth.
i would like to submit these questions for the record to be answered by the future head hud secretary, but not today. in the interest of time, i yield back my time in the interest of getting you confirm. >> thank you, all very important issues and i would be happy to answer them. >> thank you. i appreciate the precedent that you have just set. [laughter] >> senator menendez. >> i appreciate and love senator shelby but i'm not going to follow his precedent. >> let me say, congratulations on your nomination. your granddaughter, she's got the right idea. she has her pink earphones on so it's not an option that you have this hearing, but nonetheless, let me say, in preparing for this hearing and reviewing your background, i learned that we
grew up in similar circumstances. we were circumstances. we were both raised in neighborhoods with fewer opportunities whether it's detroit, austin or new jersey. i grew up in a -- and we both had parents who worked hard. we both had devoted mother's who are willing to sacrifice everything and anything to give us a chance to succeed. you did succeed with many notable accomplishments in your field of pediatric neurosurgeon. you are nominated to lead an agency in a completely different fields and our job is to assess your fitness to lead and in reviewing your past comments and knowing where we came from to get here today i can't help but see that you and i have arrived here with vastly divergent views about how to empower and create opportunities for the most vulnerable among us so i have some serious questions and i appreciate the visit that you had it with me in my office about whether your worldview fits the core mission of the
department of urban housing development. you stated poverty is really more of a choice than anything else. during a presidential debate he suggested that getting rid of all regulations is the key to getting rid of poverty. you characterize, and i know you just talked about a little little bit the legal up obligations and i want to follow up on that. you propose that every federal agency should trim their budgets with a 10% across-the-board cut year-over-year. i think of that more of a meet not a neurosurgeon knife. i think some the programs you have come to know as a mayor and legislator a member of congress, to empower and promote and improve our communities which you call dependence. given your views of poverty and
housing, i would would like to get a sense, do you truly believe in the mission of hud. for instance, should the government continue to provide rental assistance to the more than 4.5 million low income households across this country who are currently receiving it, and who who use that to find a place to call home. >> thank you senator, for the question. first of all, if you followed carefully what i have been saying, the concept of cutting across all the different departments was presented as a concept. in other words, not favoring one group or another group. i have modified that much later on to 1%, but the point being, we can never seem to cut because people have their programs and they say this one is sacred in
this one is not. the point being is if we can find a number on which we agree and begin to cut back, we can begin to think about fiscal responsibility. bear in mind, we are approaching 820 trillion national debt. >> i appreciate that, but my question is you agree the government should continue to provide rental assistance to 4.5 million low income housing participants across this country. >> i think the program is essential. if you read my writing, when it comes to entitlement programs, it is cruel and unusual punishment to withdraw those programs before you provide an alternative. >> in response to senator brown, we talk about fair housing and you have no problem with affirmative action or integration, but there there actually is, under the law, and affirmative obligation and you
said what you didn't care what was for the top-down response but it requires local communities to assess their own patterns of racial income segregation and make genuine plans to address them. that is not a top-down. are you committed to the statutory obligation of affirmatively pursuing and furthering for housing?
and i would like to explore that a little bit with you, especially this idea you talk about how you hope to work with other agencies or department within the government to help developing capabilities. i know you feel very strongly about. but first, somewhat specific questions about fha if i could did in 2006, fha insured 2.7% of mortgage origination. by 2015, fha was ensuring 17.1% of such origination. for the fha contingent liabilities now have absolutely ballooned to the point where it
was $245 billion in 2006 to $1.2 trillion today. in other words, taxpayers are on $1.2 trillion with mortgages. bad all the while there is a private industry in the business of insuring mortgages. do you share my concern that this massive explosive growth in the fha mortgage guaranteed business has interfered with a viable, private alternative that does not involve taxpayer risk at all? >> thank you, senator. thank you for the enjoyable time we had at your office. first of all, it is a big number. i mean, 8.5 million fha loans and one and a quarter trillion dollars. so of course we have to be
concerned when we are talking members of that magnitude. we also need to make sure that we balance that against the ability of homeowners to have some security in the loans that they make. but that have to be coming you know, one particular entity that does it? absolutely not. but we do have to have a mechanism, a backstop you might say of some type. otherwise, when someone comes in and buys that the loans and securitize of them, we are probably not going to be able to sell them to particularly some of the entities that would tie them because they wouldn't be comfortable. i can look at you and members of this committee to figure out how we can shrink that liability of a taxpayer while still providing
security for the individuals. >> well, i appreciate that and i look forward to working with you on not. i do believe there has been a very vibrant and capable private mortgage insurance industry that wishes to provide that service, is able to do so and then select a taxpayer risk. i would also just -- i know you are aware of this, but just this week secretary castro announced a 25 basis point reduction in an fha's mortgage insurance premium. this was surprising to me for several reasons. one, the capital ratio that is a statutory requirement and a modest 2%. it's only 2.32. this strikes me as very little buffer above the minimum and after all is recently as 2013, the fha needed to bail out,
first of all, did secretary castro or his folks reach out to you or to your knowledge anyone in the trump organization since he would be responsible for implementing this change about to go into effect. >> now, they did not. i too was surprised to see something of this nature down on the way out the door, which of course has a profound effect. we are talking $2 billion to $3 billion this year. that is not chump change. so, certainly if confirmed, i am going to work with the fha administrator and other financial experts to really examine that policy. >> thank you. i appreciate that. the last question is just to refer back to my first point and ask dr. carson if you might share with us some of your thoughts about how you hope to work with other agencies, departments of the federal government to help people
achieve what they are capable of achieving in the independence that comes up. >> thank you. that's an important concept as some of you may remember when jack kemp was the secretary of hud, he started an intergovernmental -- governmental interagency program against homelessness. it really was quite effect giving very important. what i would be thinking about, if we are going to develop the whole person is not just putting a roof over their head, but making sure that they have access to a next-line education and their children. that means working with the department of education. it means working with the department of labor in terms of helping to train people not just to be people who stand out on the corner and hold the sign and
basic neighbors, but apprenticeship programs because, you know, there's a lot of shuttle ready jobs but not so many people to handle the shuttle. we need some networkers than welders and brick workers and a number of people and those skills have been vanishing from our society. this is an excellent opportunity to bring them back. not only does it give the person and immediate job, but it provides them with a mechanism to climb the ladders of opportunity in our society and gives them stability beyond what we in the government would be facilitating and not should be our goal. several other areas. transportation is absolutely crucial. we even need to be working with the justice department because there are some equities bear that are keeping us from
developing talent that can contribute to the strength of our nation. >> thank you for a much, dr. carson. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator warren. >> thank you, mr. chairman. congratulations on your new role as chair this committee. i'm looking forward to working with you and members of our committee. thank you for being here. before we get into some of the questions i raised in my letter to you earlier this week, i just want to get in and there too i think a simple yes or no question. if you are confirmed to leave hard, you'll be responsible for issuing billions of dollars in grant and loan to help develop housing and provide a lot of housing related services. housing development is an area which president-elect trump and his family have significant business interests. can you assure me that not a single taxpayer dollars that you
give out will financially benefit the president-elect or his family? >> senator, i was worried that he wouldn't get that. thank you for accounting that. [laughter] >> i'm back. i can assure you that the things that i do are driven by a sense of morals and values and therefore i will absolutely not play favorites for anyone. >> dr. carson, let me stop right here. i'm trying to ask a more pointed question and it's not about your good faith. that is not my concern. my concern is whether or not among the billions of dollars you will be responsible for handing out in grants and loans, can you just assure us that not 1 dollar will go to benefit
either the president elect or his family? >> it will not be my intention to do anything to benefit anti-american. >> i understand not. >> it's for all americans come everything we do. >> i take that to mean you may manage programs that will significantly benefit the president-elect? >> you can take it to mean that i will manage things in ways that benefit benefits the american people. that is going to be the goal. if there happens to be an extraordinarily good program that is working for millions of people and it turns out that someone that you are targeting is going to gain $10 from that, am i going to say now, the rest of the americans can't have it? i think logic and common sense probably would be the best way. >> we do have a problem here and i appreciate your good faith in this.
the problem ends that you can't assure us that had money, not a dollar for righties bubble tea million-dollar proprieties will not end up in the president-elect's pocket and the reason you can't assure us of that is because the president elect is hiding his families business interests from you, for me for the rest of america. and this just highlights the absurdity and the danger of the president-elect's refusal to put it back as any true blind trust. he knows, he's the president-elect knows what will benefit him and his families financially. but the public doesn't, which means he can divert taxpayer money into his own pockets without anyone knowing about it. the only way that the american people can know that the president is working in their best interest and not in his sound as if he did last and
posted assets in a true blind trust. transferring his holdings does not name as the head of the nonpartisan ethics committee said just last night. since the president-elect refuses to address this voluntarily, we need to pass the presidential conflicts of interest fact that i introduce with more than 20 of my colleagues, which would require him to do so. so with the time i have left, i just want to follow up very quickly on a letter that i sent to you earlier this week and we talked about in my office. >> any appreciate that. >> i appreciate it, too. i see now, within 7 million children rely on hard or housing typically in people. people with disabilities. for many people, hud is the difference between life out on the street. one major problem that we talk about his blood exposure.
according to the most recent study, 62,000 public housing unit, nearly 6% of our total public housing stock are in need of lead abatement. we spoke at length about the implications of lead and lead poisoning on our children. can i ask you to commit today that you will make sure that resources are dedicated to dramatically reducing the number of public housing unit where that is a problem? >> i can assure you that i will very much be working with you i'm not. 310,000 cases right now, each of which cost this enormous amounts of money. i don't think people even calculate. so yes, i will be in that area. >> i very much appreciate it. this is a particular problem for
us in the northeast. a particular problem in boston. or housing stock is old and is absolutely critical that we get the lead out at these housing unit and that our children have a chance to grow up without being injured by arab negligence. i look forward to working with you. >> thank you for leadership. >> thank you, dr. carson. >> thank you and congratulations. i look forward to working with you. good to see you and i welcome you and congratulations on your nominee and for your family. i think it's wonderful. i still fondly remember carson city, nevada and paraded and then he came over i don't know how much chilly ca, but his presence was appreciated, so thank you very much for taking the time. i want to reiterate something in my office and that is you are the designated survivor.
would you call my office and let me know? [laughter] >> absolutely. a couple questions for you. actually a lot of questions, but a couple basic questions that i think every hud secretary should be asking. do you believe everybody should own a home? >> i believe everybody should have an opportunity to own a home. do you believe we should preserve and protect a 30 year home loan mortgage? >> i believe it has enabled millions of americans to achieve the american dream. there's probably a number ways to preserve that. >> to support a federal government acts up like fannie or freddie or entities similar to that of the u.s. housing financial markets? >> i do support some type of backstop, but i also am very much in favor of introducing
more private entities into the market. >> he'll be willing to work with this committee and what alternatives does maybe. >> i very much look forward to doing that. >> i appreciate that answer. another topic is the fact we have over 300,000 veterans in the state of nevada, las vegas and reno. veteran homelessness remains a serious problem. things have gotten a little better thanks to the private sector in people getting involved in helping but it still remains an issue. we have 200 veterans and reno qualify for vouchers to help pay for rent. they still about 15 vouchers available. my question is how we continue to help the homeless veterans and how will hud coordinate the efforts at the va, nonprofits and community organizations to help veterans in need? >> people who go out and risk life and limb for us are people
that should matter want for any basic thing. the bash program has been very successful at reducing homelessness, but we still have a lot more to go. i think this is another area where we must take a holistic viewpoint. what i advocated is when a person joins the military to be associated with a support group at that time. a support group follows then through their entire career, particularly when they are combat and after they are discharged. that way you discovered early on what problems are occurring and are able to intervene at that point, which is considerably cheaper than waiting until we see the result of poster mattock stress disorder. >> thank you.or cursing. a statistic in the state of nevada is 17% of las vegas area
homeowners with mortgages are underwater. what would you and hide do to help homeowners put more on their mortgage than what their home is worth? >> as you know, we do have programs targeted at such individuals if they qualify. but one of the things i believe is essential is that we begin, like the vast program began keeping people appropriate information before they actually get into mortgage trouble. i believe that one of the things we can do at head is heavy teaching mechanism and it can be done on several different levels at a very elementary level and a moderate and more sophisticated level so people do not wind up in those situations. the ones who are there already i
think there's a possibility of working with members of the private sector and i think it's an area we've neglected quite substantially. there are faith groups and business groups who are very magnanimous and willing to help wealthy working hard on developing those opportunities for them because in many cases the reason they haven't gotten involved is because there is a lack of trust. if we can create that trust, there is an enormous amount of goodwill. i don't think we have to come to the government for everything. >> dr. carson, my time is right now. thank you for your time. i look forward to seeing you at the next chilly feet. thank you and congratulations. >> thank you. >> senator donley. >> thank you, mr. chairman. congratulations, i look forward to working with you, dr. carson.
dear son, i would like to welcome you to an event in indiana. [laughter] we may have a little bit different recipe and nevada, but i'm sure you'll enjoy it. dr. carson, i talked to you in my office and we have a situation where housing complex were built on top of an old web company. 300 family size has been upended and put at risk due to present a significant levels of lead and arsenic in the soil. how does a big part of the relocation effort and you will be coming in the middle of this. in effect handed off to you. roughly half the residents are still a night and half we have been able to build. we are pursuing funding for safety and security and ultimately demolition of the
complex. can i have your commitmencommitmen t that hud will continue to be part of the leadership of this and dedicate resources necessary to get this right for president and officials of our time? >> absolutely. whenever we are in a superfund situation and mice are endangering her children are in danger of being poisoned, that becomes an emergency and we will push very hard to complete that process. >> we need you as a teammate on this. the families do as well. when i was in the half i served on the veteran affairs committee. i served on the armed services committee now. one of the biggest housing challenges we face is better and who many are homeless. one of my cities, kokomo built a 29 unit complex for homeless
veterans in the question among some was would there be enough to fill this because kokomo is not the biggest town. an awesome time, but not the biggest town. on day one we found out that 29 was not enough. and it's that way across the country. every night there is veterans putting their heads down on concrete somewhere, whether it's the economic situations or ptsd or some other challenge that they have. i would really like how to be part of the solution of this. the va is deeply involved in ms. but with hud, the first stage is housing. we owe it to our men and women who have served this country to make sure they have a decent bed a decent bed to sleep in at night. if you would make sure it you have people dedicated to this proposition would go along way towards meeting the commitments we've made and the promises we've made.
>> i'm very proud of the program. i believe it needs more enhancement and what you are saying reflects very well by sentiments. >> thank you. another challenge we have in indiana and across this country, the opioid drug epidemic. i discuss with you in indiana where we've underpin a city of 4200, 197 contracted hiv and i'm very proud of the people of that time. you'll have the opportunity to assist individuals are combating homelessness. as we look at this, can you tell me a little bit. your understanding of connection between healthy and help outcomes and leveraging the agency in some of the situations we see.
>> well, then access is great between health care and housing. it is not just the contamination with lab and other agents and it's not just the mold and things that cause chronic asthma which is a huge medical costs for us across the country each year. but it's also a safety issue, psychological well-being. i was talking to a student in baltimore who was sitting in her living room studying and a bullet came through the window. that becomes very, very difficult to concentrate under those circumstances. we need to be looking at safety as a component of that as well. again, some of the programs that we have come a choice programs that tries to come in and ameliorate the environment, i think those are actually very,
very important programs for the health of the individual. >> thank you.err. my times. the last thing i'll say florida state program has been very helpful to not only my state so please keep that in mind. thank you from a doctor. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. congratulations and we all wish you success, but also ask for unanimous consent to add to the record the african-american chamber of commerce letter of support on behalf of dr. carson. >> without objection. >> dr. carson, thank you for being willing to serve and no question if you're confirmed her entire family will feel the impact of your service to this country. there's no doubt if there's a person in this country that is really no reason to offer yourself to public service after all you party down. you've done a fabulous job in a great example for many of us in many ways like senator menendez
suggested, were very similar. i wish the type of conclusion you have however that there is so much potential inside the human heart and the human had, brain, to look for ways to expose the potential and allow for people to experience their full potential. that is such an important part of the equation and i believe, like you believe i think, the greatest thing we can do for folks has helped them find a path to their own independence. it is not to suggest that government does not have a role. it is to suggest that government does not have the role in someone's life. i think your life demonstrate that as well as your answers to some of the questions and it's very important. i also want to thank you for your desire to doing listening to her. we have had many issues around the housing are many decades frankly when i was on the county
level and the chairman of the county council in south carolina, we had housing concerns and issues and listening to the very people who live in the housing is such an important part of the formula we should produce that will benefit the american people and specifically the american people and that willingness is important. i wish that the outgoing administration have the same objective of listening, even the senators would be kind of interesting. i would encourage you to the same to the senators and hopes to appoint you to a position at head. whether that's democrats or republicans, it's very important to remain as and i would use one case in point. there was a housing tragedy in florida, where marco rubio and senator nelson spent an enormous amount of time uncovering the challenges and lack of inspections in hud housing.
we invited hard to participate in one of the hearings. no one showed up. thousands of employees and we couldn't find anyone to listen in. this into the elected officials who had a series of turns about the living conditions of people of public housing. not a single employee could find their way into the united states chambers. >> i can't imagine how that made them feel about their government , about their opportunities for success, about their opportunities to find the next latter. i expect that under your leadership the experience will be very different. >> incredibly different. >> one of the things i found refreshing about your approach is indeed the notion of a fresh start and housing.
someone who holistically understands and appreciates the necessity of affordable, clean, stable housing is a part of the journey to the american dream. i would love to hear your thoughts on how you incorporate the holistic approach to the new opportunity that is presented to you to do a fantastic job with. >> thank you, senator scott. also for the wonderful example of millions of people. the reason that i concentrate so much on the holistic approach is because when i look back historically in an agency like howard and there have been a lot of good programs and one program after another and they've been targeted at specific goblins at the progress has not been as
great as one would like to see. one of the things i discovered as a barrister jim is here much more effective when you bring in a bigger picture view of things. don't just look at coming in now, the tumor is that somebody has in their brain, but you know, look at the whole person and how can you bring health to this entire individual and how can you then put them into an environment where they can thrive. and that is the same principles and look inaccurate. the programs that have been enacted in hud over the years, you know, they are good programs, but in and of themselves they are not bringing about the elevation of large numbers of people.
you don't want it to be a way of life. we wanted to be a band-aid and a springboard to move forward. that's why i place so much emphasis on education and that's why i place so much emphasis on health care. i'm not just talking about lead abatement, but talking about perhaps putting clinics into neighborhoods so that people don't rely on the emergency room for a cost five times more and where you don't get the follow-up that will prevent you from having stage five renal disease. that's what i'm talking about by an holistic approach. it saves so much money if we begin to think that way. >> fresh start. thank you very much. >> said their shots. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for having me on the committee, ranking member brown as well. dr. carson, thank you for a
visit earlier this week to get to know you. there's been a lot of talk about your political philosophy in the context of your previous fears of a political campaign running for president. your personal views about poverty. they appreciate all that and appreciate that you seem to wonders in the you're possibly entering into a new role and that is different. i can see the evolution even during this hearing. then they talk about where the rubber hits the road when it comes to leading an agency. that is an advocacy for the budget. in the end, and the presidential budget process in the appropriations process at this authorizing above all, i need to know that you are going to advocate for the hud budget and for me that's a threshold question. are other nominees but some of us feel are going to lead an agency in order to undermine its
mission. i don't hear that from you, but i would like to hear the word that you would like to advocate for the hud budget. >> not only do i want to advocate, but in the process of talking to the people who are there already, i want to put together a world-class plan on housing in this country. and then i want to country. a minute when a to come to you with a world-class plan. i want to convince you all it will be what is required to accomplish a bringing to do. you and i talked about the perception among most people is actually left right and center that in some instances public housing can feel like a trap and certainly members of this
committee have transcended very difficult circumstances and it was a government that helped you to do that. i understand all that. there is abundant evidence now that specifically when you think about assisting people in transcending their circumstances, when you need that hand up rather than a handout, that it does star with housing and that even though we have great difficulties in our public housing authorities, even though the section eight program is imperfect, there is now hide data that families that get dental assistants do better than families that don't. i'm not talking about doing better during that period of time. i'm typing on a terms of moving up the economic ladder that if you swear away someone's housing situation, that is the best way to situate them so they can deal with their help, education and whatever problems they may need to contend with. i think your thoughts in that area.
>> my thought is that as i mentioned before, the things we been doing in the programs their lifesaving. they are a safety net. do i think we can do better? absolutely. do they think we should spend our time and effort concentrating on developing the potential of people in the answer to that is yes i'm a particularly in light of the fact that we have so many fewer people than some of our competitors and is going to be absolutely essential that we do that. >> one final question. i used to run a social service agency in honolulu and one of the things that we came to understand before the vernacular was established was especially somebody who i think cooccurrence that's insidious problem or who is contending with mental health challenges or has employment issues on the
that they have no fighting chance to contend with any of those issues unless you deal with their housing. for many not-for-profit organizations that provide services or housing is actually a prerequisite to get sober, get cleaned and have all your behavior squared away in order to receive the housing assist dance. hot and others have figured out as attractive as that may be for the service provider and has served as neat as the logic appears to be, the truth is that just doesn't work and that is why salt lake city and many others dates have adopted and eventually headed out to the safety of housing first. i would like your thought and assurance that you are certainly going to look at everything with new eyes, but make you appreciate the basic premise, which is that unless you put a roof over somebody's head, they are not going to move up the economic ladder. >> the program is certainly one of the ones i will study and
look at the data. i know of one individual who is chronically homeless and having a very difficult time with substance abuse, who through that program not only became employed, but was -- they purchase their own home. so there's some tremendous success stories there. again, these are our political capital. those are programs that we will study carefully, see what we can derive from those and how we can take those lessons and multiply them across the nation. >> thank you. >> thank you, senator shot. that objection i will love senator because he's got multiple conflicts take a few moments. >> very briefly, i went to thank you for coming by the office. i look forward to working with you as you extend this very position. i would not be in the united
states senate had it not been for efforts as a young businessman leading nonprofit to help people have decent and affordable housing. this is an outstanding committee without any leadership. you'll enjoy working with everyone here and i look forward to helping you in anyway i can. thank you. >> thank you, senator. >> thank you, mr. chairman. we'll make a five minutes in which we are supposed to supposedly interrogate you. i can tell you after our first meeting i shared with a number of people how much i enjoyed just the discussion, your interest in your desired to be actively involved. i think there was some concern that you're not a housing expert and you don't have a background in construction and so forth. it seems to me that probably run in this department is not really brain surgery. if you can handle that, you most
certainly have the capabilities to step in and look at this with a fresh eyes. in rural areas, i just am not sure you even had a chance to look at the materials we had shared with you, but there was a real strong concern on the part of native americans in the rural areas that the current formula in which funds are distributed by hyde was not following that which had been recommended by some senior staff and the fact is following an old guideline. i'm not going to ask you to make commitments, but would you please look at and agreed that you'll give it to her consideration that we find a fair way to make sure these folks that have homes that saw this guy at might be a $5000 valued home. but be a way that we get these folks the resources they need so they get a chance of housing as well.
>> thank you for advocating for them. this is a situation that has weighed heavily on my mind and i've learned more and more about it. we had the $650 million budget plus 66 million. but the native american housing assistance self-determination act has been inserted waiting to be read out for six years. so i'm looking forward to the senate going ahead in reauthorizing that act in the very near future. the amount of red tape on the reservations as you know is astonishing. on tribal lands, if you want to build a house, you have to get permission from hud, permission from the interior. you don't have to get permission from the department of transportation. this is craziness. we need to bring back a little
bit of common sense and have the people associated with the strides involved in decision-making. >> you believe there's a possibility we could coordinate efforts on va housing as well as reservations? this is a case for lasher i found out that literally the minneapolis region have led the nation in the number of va loans authorized in the entire nation than they had authorized five. this is a system which is broke and india da has lots of different things they do. this is not part of hud. it seems to me there should be a coordinated effort to provide getting the results are people that live in poverty today, veterans who we shouldn't be -- they should be looking for a handout. we should be providing them with the service which they are entitled to. i would hope perhaps with a fresh look there could be some coordinated efforts to provide the service. >> i think veterans can be healing for all of us because we
can all agree on that. >> in south dakota we are a small state. we receive funds rate at one block grants. they are often used in the win moderate income communities in order to invest in infrastructure development that allow for less expensive housing to be developed. as a former governor, we look forward to being able to utilize cbg is. they were valuable. they did extend the amount of money available. can you give me your assessment and a commitment critical enough anyway that they can be expanded in terms of dollars going into very good projects it's your basic cbg program. >> obviously it's one of the major programs of the community planning and development division. very important because it gives people a great deal of flexibility. i'm actually looking to increase the flexibility, but at the same time have a much better control.
one of the reasons the finances have not been carefully controlled and been critical. i think lies with the fact that our i.t. is so far behind. our computer systems are dated. it is much easier for people to do things under the table. that is one of the things that i'd be looking to fix right away. >> thank you. i look forward to supporting your nomination. thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator van hollin. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for your welcoming remarks. you in the ranking member, dr. carson, great to see you. as somebody who represents the state of maryland, i want to thank you for the good work he did as a neurosurgeon at johns hopkins and the good work you've done in east alta mark.
you certainly know the city of baltimore and when you and i met yesterday, i mentioned that after the freddy great tragedy in baltimore city, president obama established a white house task force to help baltimore city by trying to break down some of the silos among different federal agencies and i asked you then whether hewitt urged the incoming president to continue that white house task force. you indicated yes. i just want to make sure we are on the same page. >> and very much on that page and integrating the silos and taking holistic views of virtually everything. the synergy that we derive from that will be great. >> in continuing this white house task force, i hope we can work together to continue that. >> the more we work together, the better. >> freddie gray brings up the issue that there is a discussion
about lead paint poisoning because there is significant evidence and so i'm encouraged by your remarks. there's a lot of talk and he made remarks about regulations hindering progress in certain ways. i can tell you in the state of maryland we had a lot of absentee landlord who are fighting our efforts to put in place regulations to stop lead poisoned poisoning. some of those regulations are good regulations. >> absolutely. i'm just a little weary of overregulating as were the founders of this country. >> i think we all are. there's a regulation that is not serving its purpose. we should be getting rid of it. if there's a regulation to protect public good, we should put in place. my colleagues and i have asked you about your previous comment as they relate to this new job
and i just wanted to do the same thing. there is this ongoing conversation about federal government programs not creating opportunity. we all want to use these programs to create opportunity so people can let themselves up and become self-sufficient. during the campaign he did make some disparaging comments about housing subsidies, specifically along with the litany of other things saying that there are people who say i'm compassionate and they pat people on their head and say there you are poor little thing. i'm going to take care of your needs. you mention housing subsidies is one of those. as i understand your testimony today, you see an important positive role for housing subsidies as heart of an effort to help families get on their feet as a safety net and move on. is that right?
>> that's correct. >> i agree with you we have this conversation and mail us about the fact that just having a roof over your head doesn't necessarily solve the problems. you want to expand educational opportunities than i could not offer you greater synergy they would be important. i want to note that many of those housing subs are these go to families who don't have children. in fact, if you look at the rental assistance figures, more than 4.5 million low income households, half of which are headed by seniors for persons with disabilities. for those individuals, the wraparound help they need to be self-sufficient relates to health care. during the campaign the incoming president treated bad person wants to abolish medicare. i want to say that and social security. that was october 25th, 215520
of p.m. you've also indicated you want to get rid of medicaid which is an important health safety net for so many people. given your earlier comments about the importance of wraparound support, the roof not be enough by itself in the fact that so many millions of people who receive rental subsidies are seniors or people with disabilities, are you going to advocate within the government abolishing medicare and medicaid? >> no, you have to go back and understand the context of replacing now for something else. obviously, if you are not going to replace it, you're not going to get rid of major safety nets. >> as i recall you will replace those with health savings accounts. i am coding the incoming president. >> i want the record to show
that he distorted your position, not me. >> senator tillis. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thanks to you in the reagan member i'm looking forward to serving on this committee. dr. carson, welcome to your sons, beautiful family and especially to your wife. i don't know where to start, but i do want to thank you for the amount of time he spent in my office. i thought it was interesting at least one person spent close to four minutes and 30 seconds talking about the hypothetical incoming administration potentially benefiting their business or family members. that seems absurd to me. but i like most about the answer to your question, you would not contend out to a yes or no answer. he said what matters most is the benefit to the people we are trying to serve. that tells me you are a very honest person. you could've been attacked for that. i don't also is nuanced and the person answered the question
didn't understand what you said or if they just decided that was too principled an answer to take you on. thank you for that answer and keep those principles in place. as a practical matter before the fake news cycle starts, i doubt seriously that scenario will ever come up and tired of the hypothetical is you want to get to this pacific. i was speaker of the house in the carolina and i was criticized for them means, but not the end for a number of things you're going to have to do, too. i'll give you an example of a state administered government assistance program called unemployment reform. i'm the only speaker of the house of the nation that ratified a bill that did not extend long-term unemployment benefit. at the time we were fourth and employment. over five quarters we dropped from 10.4% to 6.4%. to the national average for all the others they they didn't take that action.
but it's the best possible thing we could do for somebody on government assist us? >> get them off of it. >> get them a job. >> we are here to not talk about the ends. we want people to have housing. we want every child grows up to realize the american dream. this has to do with the means and in my opinion the means of the past couple decades have failed. it's been a bipartisan failure worked recently with democrat readership, but before that republican leadership. when you going to housing and urban development, can i get your commitment to you look at every program and determine which ones were actually providing the benefit to the next ben person who may come up with this mob and be in her assertion? and eliminate every single obstacle in the way. >> you think they're in a sacred cows and had to stand in the way of that outcome? >> i've been studying it
carefully. >> do you think a certain extent over the years they've gone from providing housing to providing warehousing for an unacceptable number of people who are supported to the federal government? >> peculiar question was unacceptable and yes absolutely. >> do you believe that hide in the other agencies have creeped their scope over time and you could be someone who could actually say hud is to be smaller or some other organization needs to be smaller so that the people best positioned to provide this safety net, the agency best positioned to provide the safety net can do it and you can complement gunpoint to take take a lead in others? >> i believe we need to be much more efficient and that efficiency involves being able to work together and stop duplicating services and that's way very interested in working across the asylum -- i/o. >> you think we can potentially
and in my case hopefully move forward with criminal justice reform getting nonviolent offenders into rehabilitative settings in reducing recidivism will make your job easier? >> lemay kolber jobs easier. >> you believe the role of social services outside of education that serve communities, avarice community is coming to think we should have all agencies create a duplicate of operations arafat got an avarice school system, do you think the department of education should grow to serve that need or we need to do a better job of using the various agencies whose primary goal is to serve that segment of the community? >> women to do a much better job. >> if you identify anything that seems to click at a before this committee and say we want to have and have someone else on and don't be accountable for the results to shimmer >> i'm very much looking forward to the committee. >> i appreciate your
forthrightness. you've done a great job in this committee and a great job in your career. i look forward to supporting your nomination. >> senator cortez. >> thank you, mr. chairman. the new member of the committee, i look forward to working with all of you and thank you very much. dr. carson, congratulations on your nomination and welcome to your wonderful family sitting here with you. with your indulgence, just going to get right to them because of the long day for you. my colleagues asked a number of questions and i would like to just react to some of them. in your role as leader, when you promise to protect the gpt? communication from discrimination. as an outcome and there's a long and well-documented history of policies, segregation of minorities in our neighborhoods. but you continue to aggressively enforce the fha dedicated to ensuring access to her country of housing free of
discrimination, including expeditiously and thoroughly investigating race and national origin complaint with fair ways to end homelessness. it was modified in 1988. lbj said no one could possibly possibly -- >> he would continue to enforce it aggressively. >> absolutely. >> new world that requires communities to assess their own patterns of racial income segregation and make genuine plans to address them. >> i will be working with the local hud officials and communities to make sure that fairness is carried out. >> okay. i appreciate your take in the time to come to my office and say with me. and that maybe you made a number of statements that you have this
morning on your vision for head and how the department would or would not intervene and individuals lives, specifically that we don't want year after year people vegetate in a public housing. these comments are a little concerning to me. for this reason, and nevada the fair market rent is around $950 per month. in order to afford this level of rent and utilities, a household of two and $38,000 annually. nevada, a minimum wage worker earns an hourly wage of $7.25 or a dollar 25 cents which is about $15,000 annually. it are each the two-bedroom rent apartment, the individual would have to work 88 hours a week, which as you can see not only in funding for education are much other opportunities to further themselves other than putting a
roof over their head for them and their families. that doesn't sound like somebody has vegetate and in public housing. you also mentioned to one of my colleagues that you believe that additional housing funding rental assistance is essential. but when i talked to me said there were limits. you believe low-income americans should have a limit to public assistance in kenya further defined not permit? >> what i'm saying is we have to be cognizant of fiscal responsibility is a solid social responsibilities. when we last did that every single person in a beautiful unit forever? >> absolutely. that was the idea. we don't have the necessary funding. the other thing that i emphasize is that safety net programs are
programmed. i would never advocate abolishing them without having an alternative for people to follow. >> so how would you help someone find the alternative if all they do is come home and work and that's all they can afford. how would you help them other than giving them a time limit and then they have to leave. >> there's a much bigger picture issue here and that is fixed in the economy and working very hard to create the right kind of activist here. people have a lot more options in terms of jobs. it was the hardest hit for ground zero for the crisis. one of my biggest partners is your agency. aggressively work together to bring relief to homeowners fared, including what you talked about financial relief but also
financial literacy and education. through that i created the home again program in the state of nevada to provide financial literacy for first-time homebuyers and individuals in their home. is that a program you can continue to support them and that to help support in the state of nevada? >> i will certainly study the program and work with you to make sure it at the cost of that program are carried forward. >> thank you. i appreciate the answers to the questions today. thank you very much. >> thank you. senator kennedy. >> thank you, mr. chairman. dr. carson, when you are performing her surgery at johns hopkins hospital, were you concerned primarily with how much the operation costs and how much money you are generating for the hospital or were you
primarily concerned with fixing your patience problem? >> primarily concerned with fixing the problem, absolutely. >> i want you to understand my agenda. i'm not interested in taking away affordable housing for people in need i'm interested in fewer people need affordable housing. how are you going to do that?
no reason we can't require some training, some education, some skills which then allow them to be much more independent and move up. that's really what i'm talking about, just not leaving the system as it is and continuing to feed the system, but really try to develop our people, and it goes back to what i was talking about before. if if we are going to compete in the future with nations that have three and four times as many people as we do, we have got to develop our people. we have got to get the bank for the buck. >> i want to talk too about the community development program. as we talked about in my office, louisiana had massive flooding last year. in march, the northern part of our state received about 25 inches of inches of rain in 30 days.
that is more rain than the city of l.a. got in three years. then in august, self louisiana, we got about 27 inches of rain in three days. most of the people didn't live in the floodplain. they didn't need flood insurance and the truth is, if you get 27 inches of rain or 25 inches in three days, you can live on mount everest and you're going to flood it we had a lot of people hurt badly. the american taxpayer has been very generous through the members of congress. congress has appropriated about $1.6 billion to our people. it is. it is going to come in the form of community development grants. there is some confusion, our governor has a plan to spend part of that money. he doesn't have a plan to spend the other part, he has blamed
hud, i've spoken off the record with some of the hud officials, they say it's the state problem. frankly i don't care whose fault it is. congress has acted, the taxpayers have been generous, i just want to figure out how to get that $1.6 billion to folks so they can start rebuilding their lives. would you commit to me that as sec. of hud, and i believe you will be secretary of hud, that you will ask your folks not to break any rules, and not to break any laws, but to demonstrate some of that flexibility you were talking about, to keep their eye on the ball. let's try to get the money into the hands of the folks for whom it was appropriated, as opposed to discussing how many lawyers can dance on the head of a pin. >> thank you senator, and i enjoyed our conversation previously. you are singing my song here. i have been talking to mayors across this country and housing authorities, and they all say what you just said, they
appreciate the grant money but they have to jump through too many hoops and there's too much red tape. i look forward to working not only with the people at hud, but with the recipients of the grants so we can figure out how to streamline this procedure. by utilizing the it technology to eliminate a lot of waste and fraud, i think we can really get a lot of bang for our buck. >> thank you. >> you will be a great hud sec. >> thank you. >> thank you very much. >> thank you mr. chairman. as others have said before i look forward to your leadership and i appreciate you being in this position. you have been there before and done a fine job and i have no doubt you'll do a fine job in the future. doctor carson, thanks for
putting yourself up for this and as others have said, thank you to your family for their support of you in this position. others have talked about the similarities of how you've grown up with them. you haven't grown up at the same similarities that i have had. i've grown up in the west and i can tell you that i would not be in the position i am in without the homestead act. without the measures that president roosevelt took in the dirty 30s. we would been off the farm and gone from montana. even today, i'm not particularly proud of this but agriculture still get significant subsidies to keep themselves going. i think we both agree that government plays an important role in whatever we do and housing is no exception. i can also tell you that from a regulatory standpoint, we don't enforce things like the packers and stockyards act and that's why we still have subsidy. there is room for regulation in this. i want to touch on one thing that was said and it deals with this. you have no control over this. why the blind trust is so
important is because we elect people to offices like u.s. senators and president of the united states not for personal gain, but for the betterment of the country. i can tell you, you're, you're not going to be able to tell what happens if that is not put into a true blind trust, just like jay rockefeller did when he was in the u.s. senate. when i asking him to do anything different than what's been done before. one of the problems with coming late to a committee hearing as everything's been said, but not everybody set it so i'm going to say it. affordable housing, by the way, thanks for coming to my office. the affordable housing. >> the affordable housing is something that is critically important. i can give you plenty of examples. we talked about a holistic view which i agree with, there's plenty of examples where there isn't affordable housing, there isn't the economic opportunity, there isn't the opportunity to create jobs or move the economy forward. i was just in montana with eight or 10000 people visiting with business leaders, they can't get
new business it's coming because they don't have a workforce that can be housed. were not talking just about the poor, retarded about everybody for going to increase the middle-class and you're going to be a big part of that. the other thing is the 30 year note. it's pretty special to the united states. it really it really is. it has allowed millions of people to get into housing that would otherwise be there. i question to you is, do you believe it's possible to have a 30 year mortgage without a government guarantee. >> yes, i think it is possible. >> are you going to do it. >> private sector. we have to. >> but you can't do it overnight. it has to be a gradual change, and that's something that i would want to work with this committee on because i think we can't do it in a half have haphazard way and we can't do it in an ideological way. we had to preserve the dream for the american people. >> i would love to work with you. >> i think if you take a look at
how long 30 years is, 30 years is quite a while. i think a lot can change in 30 years and i don't see how it can happen. i know canada doesn't have it and i don't want to be like canada. >> no, i mean they're okay. >> they're good people, i can almost see canada for my doorstep so they are good people, but i can tell you that it's going to be difficult. i'm willing to listen to ideas and try to move forward. we talked about reducing red tape. there's an outfit called the interagency council on homelessness which works for ways to address homelessness in different geographies. one size doesn't fit all. >> we commit to working with those folks to make sure that can happen? >> it's very important. have been that close to being homeless myself so i can really understand that. >> super. >> not a lot of folks have talked about indian country, my friend senator, he may when i
get done, but housing is a huge problem and it's one of the reasons we hope you come to north dakota and montana when you do your listening session, to look at some of the large land-based tribes and challenges that they have, but one of the biggest sources for federal funding in any housing is block grants, and do you have any ideas on how hud can really focus on indian country because you're right, there's a lot of regulation, but there is also just unbelievable, you come from it, you've seen it, poverty. if you want to talk about at risk kids, they're all native american in montana for the most part. do you have any ideas on how we can improve housing because it's critically important piece of that holistic puzzle that you talked about. >> again, going back to the holistic model, it's not just a matter of putting people in houses, understanding what's going on on those tribal lands,
why is there such a drug problem for instance. what is facilitating that? can we start further down the road and see if there's a way that we can stop some of the drug trafficking. then, at the same time, simultaneously work on the housing. as i mentioned mentioned before, getting rid of the regulatory burden for creating housing on the reservation. it's absolutely absurd and working, i think think with some of the tribal leaders themselves , rather than imposing things, i think all of those things will have an effect. >> thank you for your service dr. courson. >> thank you. >> thank you senator purdue thank you for your lifetime of service and your willingness to serve again. please don't take any disrespect for my absence in the better part of this meeting. i have an armed services committee going at the same time >> i understand. >> it strikes me, i'm incredibly
impressed with the nomination of this president elect, and you and you are not the least of those by any means. i have always admired your heart for humanity and in our meeting earlier this week, i can see that. one of my first jobs, doctor, was when i learned early, when i put people around me to judge their heart and i think president-elect trump did a great job in your nomination for this. i'm amazed with your quotes. we don't need to help people achieve a position where we feel good about, rather we need to put people in a situation that they feel good about. would you elaborate on that please. >> in many cases, over the years bureaucrats, politicians, no offense have just done things that make themselves feel good and pat themselves on the back and we took care of this problem when in fact, we go and look at the people in their living in
squalor and dilapidated spaces and there's danger and you go outside and you're worried about whether your kids going to come back safe so we need to be looking at the end product rather than the beginning of the process, that's what i'm talking about. >> you had mentioned public-private partnerships, i have served on the foreign relations committee and one of the greatest successes is power africa where we put taxpayer money up and we attracted private money to power significant portion. talk to us a little bit about your vision about how you can get the private sector involved with government to help heal our cities and develop, you had mentioned housing and urban development, in our private conversation you spent more time talking with me about development and i would like you to elaborate that as it relates to the private investment. >> sure. >> we have a lot of very talented people in this country in the private sector, and the
low income housing tax credit is an excellent example, it's seen over by the congressional finance committee, but that has allowed an enormous number of places to be renovated, and there is plenty more where that comes from. in detroit i was talking to a private developer recently about some of the work they were doing and it was costing 16 and a half thousand dollars. building. they came in, and working with recycling organization were able to take the buildings down for five and half thousand dollars. that was a way of using the private sector in a very positive way to clear large amounts of the city. those are the kinds of things we need to look for. there's a lot of money in the private sector and a lot of
goodwill in the private sector, and i want to work on those programs and i want to study those programs that are working so we can multiply them across country. >> thank you again for your answers mr. chairman. thank you and god bless you for your willingness to do this. >> thank you. >> mr. chairman, welcome welcome to that chair. we look forward to working with you. you have a brave new crowd. two new little kid chairs, i used to sit over and that one so welcome to the new members. >> doctor carson, there's a lot of people who scratch their head when you are nominated thinking what does he know about housing, and how is he going to manage this agency. i've i've thought a lot about that and you and i have had
great conversation, and thanks for coming but we aren't in the housing business were in the people business. as we look at this agency, i grew up completely different than you. i grew up with the town of 90 people. my dad was a sickly a seasonal construction worker and my mom was a school quote. like you, i was was blessed with parents who really believed in me. unfortunately, in america, there are so many children who don't have our blessing. those children have suffered traumatic events in their life. it has limited their ability to grow emotionally, it has limited their resiliency, its created problems that they carry with them for the rest of their life. i thought about you as a neurosurgeon, i thought about you as a man who understands brain function. i thought you just might be the right guy. if you focus on why people are in poverty, not judging people who are in poverty, but doing it
in a way that we haven't thought about before, that we haven't even considered before so i would really challenge you to take your enthusiasm for change which we all agree that we are an exceptional country that should provide opportunity, should provide that ability that you and i both have had to come out of poverty, but we absolutely need to understand why people are in poverty without judgment and that is a critical piece for me. you and i have had a great chance to talk about native american issues, we talked about rule housing shortage, both of which the senator raised. i just want to hit issues, one is transitional housing and the other one is runaway and homeless youth. they are on the other end of the spectrum of what i'm talking about in terms of early intervention, but they are critical services for what we hope to do as a country when we
look at judicial reform, we look at the opportunities to change. can transitional housing is something i believe is essential to reentry for so many of the people whose human capital we are wasting every day. i want a commitment from you that you will make transitional housing, as we look at judicial reform, a major priority in terms of housing and in terms of helping in and that cycle. >> i think it's very important, as you know we have the first program. that is the homeless emergency. >> i'm not really talking about that. i'm talking about long-term transition so that when people are taken out of situations whether it's disability or homeless that they are provided wraparound services where they feel and are nurtured to transition.
we think, you get 30 days and you're out. we have an opioid crisis in this country, we have a homeless crisis in this country, we have a trauma crisis in this country. it can't be dealt with without dealing with transitioning people out of those situations. >> you relayed a very poignant conversation, it's obviously very important and i very much look forward to working with you. >> i want to talk about another issue that we deal with a lot, and that human trafficking, youth trafficking, the abuse of children. a lot of people think, it's like when they talk about human trafficking or child trafficking, they sometimes see this laura inglis wilder bounding through the prairie and some dark cloud comes in switzer up and now she's in this horrible life. i'm not saying that doesn't
happen, but i will tell you who these children are. these children have been thrown away, they have been given away, and they are abused every day. if we don't get them off the street, if we don't do everything that we can to protect them at that point where they are leaving their family, they will be the most serious victims of crime in this country we need to re-authorize the homeless and runaway youth program, we need need to do everything we can to provide that environment, that shelter environment that prevents these children from becoming victims of the most heinous and horrific crime that is committed in this country. >> senator, you don't have to convince me. >> i've got to get it in though. lay down the marker. i look forward to working with you and i really look forward to you examining the work that we have been doing on trauma and seeing that as an entry-level opportunity for change in the early stages, especially in the programs that you run because
housing is foundational. >> it's foundational to family growth, is foundational to raising healthy americans. >> thank you. this is going to be a great committee to work with. >> we are really a great committee, you're right. >> that is stipulating. >> senator cotton. >> thank you, mr. chairman. senator brown and dr. carson i want to apologize for my late arrival. we had the nominations in other communities committees and i look forward to supporting both of them as well as your nomination dr. carson. we spoke in our private meeting about a topic you've discussed that is close to my heart and that's the problem of homeless veterans. i think there's something like 40000 homeless veterans in america today. in arkansas we have several
hundred of those. i think it's a failure of our government in our society that we have veterans who are willing to whisk their lives for our country and they currently live in worse conditions than they did in the deserts of iraq or the mountains of afghanistan. >> i just want to give you the opportunity to lay out a little bit about how you think about this problem ,-comma what we can do better to solve this very disturbing problem of homelessness among our bedroom population. >> thank you and thank you for your service. one of the things that helped us get to the civil rights was the service of black americans in the military. when people began to see how they were willing to sacrifice everything but would come home to our own country and be ill treated, it sparked something in
the american psyche. i'm hopeful that at this stage of the game, the fact that we have homeless veterans, veterans who are not receiving appropriate medical care will have the same effect. it seems almost immoral that we could have a group of people who have sacrificed so much and then basically just kick them in the pants. that certainly will not be the case with hud. >> thank you very much. i look forward to working with you on this committee as many other members of congress do and i know you'll be working closely with the secretary of the va. i just want to say thank you once again for your willingness to answer the call of service. i know sometimes leaving private life can be a challenge for individuals, but i'm very glad that the president-elect has selected you to be our secretary of housing and urban development and i look forward to working
together with you and seeing you from time to time in front of this committee. >> thank you senator. >> thank you doctor carson. >> thank you senator. we have one senator who may show up for his first round questions, but at this point there are no senators in the room who have not already had one round. i know know there is some interest in a second round, and so, by show of hands, who is interested in a second round. >> we have two or three. at this point. >> do i get to vote. [laughter] >> actually we should ask you, let's go ahead and start the second round and i will probably jump in with some questions, but i'll go to you first. >> thank you and thank you for sitting here. i notice you weren't drinking that much water. >> i'm thinking about that. >> a little more specific on the issue that senator worn raised,
yesterday the president-elect announced his intention to hang onto his investments, not put them into a blind trust, i appreciated the very specific admonition about that. this creates particular problems for hud since he is invested, we don't know his tax returns so there may be others, but, but we know he's invested in at least one subsidize housing project. i wondered if you were aware of his. >> i've not discussed it with him. i do know about it. >> i don't see how hud can avoid the appearance of a conflict should any issue arise on this property, do you? >> what i would hope would happen with this committee is that we could come up with a suggestion that might be acceptable to all sides. >> let me start with one. would you commit to report back
to the committee on any issue that should arise on a property sterritt or otherwise, we don't know if there's others, would you commit to report back on any issue that should arise on a property owned by mr. trump or his family in any contact they received from the trump administration or the white house or any other source other than normal back-and-forth between the project and its oversight officials. would you commit to reporting to this committee anytime that arises. >> i would be more than delighted to discuss that. >> we you set up a process to identify those conflicts. >> i will work with you to set that up. >> thank you for that commitment. >> one other question and then i won't take my whole five minutes, mr. chairman. i appreciate your comments in your testimony about the interaction between housing and healthcare. when matthew desmond signed his book to me, and i bought it, i want you to know that, he wrote on his book, home equals life,
and in a nutshell, that says what you are saying between a connection of housing, healthcare and so much else. i think if you don't have a home, so many other things go wrong. even if you are widely successful in promoting healthier housing, will it be any more than a drop in a bucket compared to the loss of health insurance for as many as 30 million americans including nearly a million in my state. governor kasich, a republican has admonished republicans here, don't repeal the affordable care act and less you replace it immediately because what do i do with 700,000 people to have medicaid in ohio. his words print my question is, you responded that if you're going to, if you'd seem less than enthusiastic about the way it operates so you said you would be willing to eliminate them, but only if something replace them immediately.
does that mean that you would oppose the elimination of the affordable care act without something replacing it immediately? >> yes, i have said that many times. i don't think it's reasonable to pull the rug out from anybody. we always have to make sure that we are taking care of our citizens. >> that's regardless of our political aspirations. >> if you had been the senator from florida instead of senator rubio, the vote might have been different. >> thank you doctor carson. >> thank you. although we had -- >> i just wanted to thank him. >> you remind me of colombo. >> i've actually heard that before. i think i heard it from somebody in youngstown. just one point, i wanted to thank you for what you are saying about lead, repeated
comments about lead in the private housing and commercial market. that is so important, the, the discussion we had about the percentage of toxic lead in almost every single home built before 1978. >> but even, the housing stock that's older, it's particularly bad because the housing is decaying, and in and in the city i live in, it's probably 85 or 90% of the home. >> thank you and i apologize mr. chairman. >> okay. >> we did have a senator on the republican side who wanted to get here but is held up at the armed services committee that's going on right now and senator warren who was here has been called back to the armed services committee. she indicated that if necessary she could submit her further questions for the record. at this point, we do not have any further questioning for you, doctor carson, and we will wrap up the hearing. i will say, to all senators and doctor carson we have a practice
of submitting questions following the hearing for the record. >> did you have a question. >> okay, senator cortez, i didn't realize you wanted another round. >> i appreciate that and i will be brief. you've done you've done an incredible job and i appreciate the comments in helping individuals. there is one thing of interest to me, however that you talked about which is public, private partnerships and the financing when it comes to partnerships. i haven't really had a conversation with you and how that would be addressed when it comes to housing and mortgages. >> when i talk about. >> we are going to leave this hearing at the u.s. sending is about to gamble in. earlier today, we had been showing you the hearing for a new cia director and that hearing was interrupted by a power outage and rollcall it was not russian hacking as someone joked but due to electrical work that was taking place at the capitol di